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Person of the Year (formerly Man of the Year) is an annual issue of the United States newsmagazine Time that features and profiles a man, woman, couple, group, idea, place, or machine that "for better or for worse, ...has done the most to influence the events of the year."[1]



The tradition of selecting a Man of the Year began in 1927, with Time editors contemplating newsworthy stories possible during a slow news week. The idea was also an attempt to remedy the editorial embarrassment earlier that year for not having aviator Charles Lindbergh on its cover following his historic trans-Atlantic flight. By the end of the year, it was decided that a cover story featuring Lindbergh as the Man of the Year would serve both purposes.[2]

Since then, individual people, classes of people, an invention, and a planet have been selected for the special year end issue. In 1999, the title was changed to Person of the Year [3] in an effort to be more inclusive.[citation needed] However, the only women to win the renamed recognition as an individual so far were those recognized as The Whistleblowers (2002) and Melinda Gates (jointly with Bill Gates and Bono in 2005). Before that, four women were granted the title as individuals, adapted as Women of the YearWallis Simpson in 1936, Soong May-ling (Madame Chiang Kai-shek) in 1937, Queen Elizabeth II in 1952, and Corazon Aquino in 1986. Several classes of people comprise both men and women or women only, namely Hungarian Freedom Fighter in 1956, "U.S. Scientists" in 1960, Twenty-Five and Under in 1966, The Middle Americans in 1969, "American Women" in 1975, "The American Soldier" in 2003, and You in 2006.

Since the list began, every serving President of the United States has been a Person of the Year at least once with the exceptions of Calvin Coolidge, in office at time of the first issue, Herbert Hoover, the next U.S. president, and Gerald Ford.

The December 31, 1999, issue of Time named Albert Einstein the Person of the Century. Franklin D. Roosevelt and Mahatma Gandhi were chosen as runners-up.[4]

Franklin D. Roosevelt is the only person to have received the title 3 times - in 1932, 1934 and 1941.

Despite the magazine's frequent statements to the contrary, the designation is often regarded as an honor, and spoken of as an award or prize, simply based on many previous selections of admirable people.[5] However Time magazine points out those such as Adolf Hitler in 1938, and Joseph Stalin in 1939 and again in 1942, and the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979, have also been granted the title.

As a result of the public backlash it received from the United States for naming the Ayatollah Khomeini Man of the Year in 1979, Time has shied away from using figures that are controversial in the United States.[6] Time's Person of the Year 2001—immediately following the September 11, 2001 attacks—was New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani, although the rules of selection, the individual or group of individuals who have had the biggest effect on the year's news, made Osama bin Laden a more likely choice. The issue that declared Giuliani the Person of the Year included an article that mentioned Time's earlier decision to elect the Ayatollah Khomeini and the 1999 rejection of Hitler as Person of the Century. The article seemed to imply that Osama bin Laden was a stronger candidate than Giuliani, as Adolf Hitler was a stronger candidate than Albert Einstein. The selections were ultimately based on what the magazine describes as who they believed had a stronger influence on history.

Another criticized choice was the 2006 selection of "You", representing most if not all people for advancing the information age by using the Internet (via e.g. blogs, YouTube, MySpace and Wikipedia).[7]

Persons of the Year

Year Choice Lifetime Notes
1927 United States Charles Lindbergh 1902–1974
1928 United States Walter Chrysler 1875–1940
1929 United States Owen D. Young 1874–1962
1930 British Raj Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi 1869–1948
1931 France Pierre Laval 1883–1945
1932 United States Franklin D. Roosevelt 1882–1945
1933 United States Hugh Samuel Johnson 1882–1942
1934 United States Franklin D. Roosevelt 1882–1945
1935 Ethiopia Haile Selassie I 1892–1975
1936 United States United Kingdom Wallis Simpson 1896–1986
1937 Republic of China Chiang Kai-shek
Republic of China Soong May-ling
1938 Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler 1889–1945
1939 Soviet Union Joseph Stalin 1878–1953
1940 United Kingdom Winston Churchill 1874–1965
1941 United States Franklin D. Roosevelt 1882–1945
1942 Soviet Union Joseph Stalin 1878–1953
1943 United States George Marshall 1880–1959
1944 United States Dwight D. Eisenhower 1890–1969
1945 United States Harry S. Truman 1884–1972
1946 United States James F. Byrnes 1879–1972
1947 United States George Marshall 1880–1959
1948 United States Harry S. Truman 1884–1972
1949 United Kingdom Winston Churchill 1874–1965 Man of the Half-Century
1950 United States The American Fighting-Man Representing Korean War troops; first abstract chosen
1951 Iran Mohammed Mossadegh 1882–1967
1952  Queen Elizabeth II[n 1] b. 1926
1953 West Germany Konrad Adenauer 1876–1967
1954 United States John Foster Dulles 1888–1959
1955 United States Harlow Curtice 1893–1962
1956 Hungary Hungarian Freedom Fighter
1957 Soviet Union Nikita Khrushchev 1894–1971
1958 France Charles de Gaulle 1890–1970
1959 United States Dwight D. Eisenhower 1890–1969
1960 United States US Scientists Represented by George Beadle, Charles Draper, John Enders, Donald A. Glaser, Joshua Lederberg, Willard Libby, Linus Pauling, Edward Purcell, Isidor Rabi, Emilio Segrè, William Shockley, Edward Teller, Charles Townes, James Van Allen, and Robert Woodward
1961 United States John F. Kennedy 1917–1963
1962 Vatican City Italy Pope John XXIII 1881–1963
1963 United States Martin Luther King, Jr. 1929–1968
1964 United States Lyndon B. Johnson 1908–1973
1965 United States William Westmoreland 1914–2005
1966  The Generation Twenty-Five and Under (Baby Boomers)
1967 United States Lyndon B. Johnson 1908–1973
1968 United States The Apollo 8 astronauts William Anders, Frank Borman, and Jim Lovell
1969 United States The Middle Americans
1970 West Germany Willy Brandt 1913–1992
1971 United States Richard Nixon 1913–1994
1972 United States Richard Nixon 1913–1994
United States Henry Kissinger b. 1923
1973 United States John Sirica 1904–1992
1974 Saudi Arabia King Faisal 1906–1975
1975 United States American Women Represented by Susan Brownmiller, Kathleen Byerly, Alison Cheek, Jill Conway, Betty Ford, Ella Grasso, Carla Hills, Barbara Jordan, Billie Jean King, Carol Sutton, Susie Sharp, and Addie Wyatt
1976 United States Jimmy Carter b. 1924
1977 Egypt Anwar Sadat 1918–1981
1978 People's Republic of China Deng Xiaoping 1904–1997
1979 Iran Ayatollah Khomeini 1902–1989
1980 United States Ronald Reagan 1911–2004
1981 Poland Lech Wałęsa b. 1943
1982  The Computer Machine of the Year
1983 United States Ronald Reagan 1911–2004
Soviet Union Yuri Andropov 1914–1984
1984 United States Peter Ueberroth b. 1937
1985 People's Republic of China Deng Xiaoping 1904–1997
1986 Philippines Corazon C. Aquino 1933–2009
1987 Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev b. 1931
1988  The Endangered Earth Planet of the Year
1989 Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev b. 1931 Man of the Decade
1990 United States George H. W. Bush b. 1924 Bush was referred to as The Two George Bushes — this is not a reference to George W. Bush but to how George H.W. Bush was complimented for international affairs and criticized for domestic affairs, including his quote, "Read my lips: no new taxes."[8]
1991 United States Ted Turner b. 1938
1992 United States Bill Clinton b. 1946
1993 Palestinian territories South Africa Israel The Peacemakers Represented by Yasser Arafat, F.W. de Klerk, Nelson Mandela, and Yitzhak Rabin
1994 Vatican City Poland Pope John Paul II 1920–2005
1995 United States Newt Gingrich b. 1943
1996 United States Republic of China David Ho b. 1952
1997 United States Hungary Andy Grove b. 1936
1998 United States Bill Clinton b. 1946
United States Kenneth Starr b. 1946
1999 United States Jeffrey P. Bezos b. 1964
2000 United States George W. Bush b. 1946
2001 United States Rudolph Giuliani b. 1944
2002 United States The Whistleblowers Represented by Cynthia Cooper, WorldCom; Coleen Rowley, FBI; and Sherron Watkins, Enron
2003 United States The American Soldier
2004 United States George W. Bush b. 1946
2005 Republic of Ireland United States The Good Samaritans Represented by Bono, Bill Gates, and Melinda Gates
2006  You [9] Represented the individual content creator on the World Wide Web
2007 Russia Vladimir Putin[10] b. 1952
2008 United States Barack Obama[11] b. 1961
2009 United States Ben Bernanke[12] b. 1953
  1. ^ No single flag is presented for Elizabeth II as she was in 1952 the sovereign of more than one independent state, specifically the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ceylon, Pakistan and South Africa

See also


  1. ^ Person of the Year: 75th Anniversary Celebration (Special Collector's Edition ed.). New York: Time Books. 2002. OCLC 52817840. 
  2. ^ Time (2002) p. 1.
  3. ^ First Person of the Year is Jeff Bezos of
  4. ^ Golden, Frederic (3 January 2000). "Person of the Century: Albert Einstein". Time. Retrieved 2008-02-13. 
  5. ^ Time (2002) pp. 2, 79.
  6. ^ Time (2002) p. 79.
  7. ^
  8. ^ Time (2002) p. 95.
  9. ^ Lev Grossman (13 December 2006). "Time's Person of the Year: You". Time.,9171,1569514,00.html. Retrieved 2008-02-14. 
  10. ^ "Person of the Year 2007". Time. 2007.,28757,1690753,00.html. Retrieved 2009-07-08. 
  11. ^ "Person of the Year 2008". Time. 2008.,31682,1861543_1865068,00.html?cnn=yes. Retrieved 2008-12-17. 
  12. ^ Grunwald, Michael (16 December 2009). "Person of the Year 2009". Time.,28804,1946375_1947251,00.html. Retrieved 16 December 2009. 

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